Sox hold off Twins for 7-6 win, series sweep

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Sox hold off Twins for 7-6 win, series sweep

MINNEAPOLIS -- For a time Wednesday night, it appeared as though the Red Sox bullpen might duplicate its implosion on Saturday against the New York Yankees.
What had been a 7-1 lead for the Sox turned dicey when starter Clay Buchholz and three relievers combined to allow five runs in the sixth inning to the Minnesota Twins.
But Matt Albers got an inning-ending double play ball and Vicenta Padilla and Franklin Morales combined to get the next six hitters in a row as the Red Sox held off the Twins, 7-6, for Boston's third straight victory and a sweep of the series.
Alfredo Aceves turned back the Twins in the ninth to notch his second save of the series and fourth of the season, though it was not without its drama as the closer loaded the bases on a walk, single and a hit batsman.
But Aceves got Denard Span swinging for the final out to preserve the one-run margin.
The Sox, who were outhit 14-10, jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the third inning thanks to a run-scoring single from Cody Ross, a three-run homer by Mike Aviles and a two-run single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Clay Buchholz, who picked up the win, was in and out of trouble most of the night. He didn't have a 1-2-3 inning until the fifth and allowed 10 hits and three walks in just 5 13 innings. In all four of his starts this season, Buchholz has given up at least five earned runs.
Dustin Pedroia doubled in the first, singled in the third and tripled in the fifth but fell a homer shy of reaching the cycle.
STAR OF THE GAME: Mike Aviles continued his hot streak when he clubbed a two-run homer in the second, part of the Red Sox' four-run inning. For the series, the shortstop was 6-for-13 with two homers, two doubles, five RBI and five runs scored.
HONORABLE MENTION: The Twins scored five times in the bottom of the sixth, chasing starter Clay Buchholz and roughing up the Boston bullpen. But with the Sox clinging to a one-run lead, Vincente Padilla came in for the bottom of the seventh and gave the Red Sox a quick 1-2-3 inning, restoring the momentum to Boston's side.
GOAT OF THE GAME: For the third time in as many games, the Twins' starter didn't give his team much of a chance. Liam Hendriks was tagged for seven runs on nine hits in just four innings.
TURNING POINT: The Twins had already scored five runs in the sixth and had the bases loaded with Sean Burroughs up. But Matt Albers got Burroughs to rap into an inning-ending, rally-killing double play, stranding two baserunners.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Red Sox sweep of the Twins here was the first for the Sox in Minneapolis since July 3-6, 2000.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "We got a win. That's what it's all about in the end.'' Bobby Valentine on the rocky road taken to victory.

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

NEW YORK - Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But they received significantly more votes this time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.

Bagwell, on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.

In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.

Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.

Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.

Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.

Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.

Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.

Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport's dominant speedster.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: "Only God knows."

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.

Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.

Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball's drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and `07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.

Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

The Red Sox have invited nine non-roster players to spring training, the team announced Wednesday. The team now has a total of 15 non-roster invitees. 

Added Wednesday to the spring training roster were outfielder/infielder Allen Craig, third baseman Rafael Devers, first baseman Sam Travis, catcher Jordan Procyshen, outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Rusney Castillo, and right-handed pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Chandler Shepherd and Ben Taylor.

In addition to 39 players on the 40-man roster, the Sox have the following breakdown of non-roster invitees: 

Pitchers: Kyle Kendrick, Edgar Olmos, Chandler Shepherd, Ben Taylor, Marcus Walden
 
Catchers: Dan Butler, Jake DePew, Jordan Procyshen
 
Infielders: Rafael Devers, Matt Dominguez, Sam Travis
 
Outfielders: Brian Bogusevic, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Junior Lake